Posing for photos is just as much a part of the holiday party tradition as eggnog and snowmen-shaped sugar cookies. But despite all you've learned about looking good in front of the camera, you still manage to take a bad photo or two — and most of the time, they end up being the ones your friends choose to Instagram ('cause they look good. Ugh). Instead of groaning and grumbling at the thought of taking endless numbers of photos this holiday season, we're imparting some camera-conquering wisdom that will help you take the most flattering ones ever. Here are no-fail tips that are guaranteed to make you look good no matter how ugly your sweater is.
TURN TO THE RIGHT
According to Cosmopolitan, new research from Wake Forest University says that the left side of your face is the sexiest. Researchers discovered that our left cheeks show more emotion, which people think looks more attractive. Instead of standing straight in front the camera, turn your head slightly to the right, exposing your left cheek.
"Squinching" is the act of making your eyes more compact. Professional photographer Peter Hurley thinks that this is the key to looking better in photos. It may sound a bit silly, but we all kind of do it naturally. When we smile, our eyes tend to get smaller in size. But this time, try to squint with confidence and intention. Hurley suggests lifting and tightening your lower eyelids, and letting the top ones come down just a fraction. We're not sure how you actually control your eyes to do that, but here's a video teaching you how.
POSE, BUT LOOK NATURAL
Nothing is worse than looking fake in a photo, except maybe looking totally unprepared and uncomfortable. Try to find a balance. Stand like you would naturally, but taller. Link your arms with the person next to you or hold onto a prop like a glass. Having a stiff arm by your side can make you sometimes look unrelaxed.
AVOID THE DOUBLE CHIN
Try to position yourself below the camera if possible. Ask your camera person to take the picture from above — it'll make everyone in the photo look more flattering, but also avoid any double chins. If you don't have a choice of where the camera falls, simply stick your chin out just a tad more than you normally would. That should do the trick.
Your smile is your biggest asset in a photo, so it's important to make it stand out as best as possible. Reapply your favorite lipgloss or lipstick right before the photo. Your lips will look fuller and your teeth will appear whiter. A win on all fronts!